Wiltshire summer holidays programme appeal after firm ‘ceases to trade’

PROVIDERS of summer holiday activities for youngsters in Wiltshire are being sought after one firm ‘ceased to trade’.

Wiltshire Council is asking community groups and registered providers to come forward to help provide activities for eligible children this summer.

It comes after the council was informed Learn By Design was ceasing to trade and would not be putting on activities for the summer FUEL (Food Unity, Energy, Laughter) Programme.

The council said the ‘unexpected development’ has left them ‘rapidly’ reviewing what can be offered during the summer break.

Organisers are having conversations with potential providers but is urging registered activity providers, schools and other appropriate community organisations throughout the county to come forward and advise if they can put on activities.

FUEL is a county programme funded by the Department for Education to help young people who are eligible for benefits related free school meals have free access to activities and nutritious meals during the school holidays.

In Wiltshire, it has provided hundreds of children with activities and nutritious meals.

Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, cabinet member for public health, said: “We have had to rapidly review what is possible for the summer holidays as we received this news only a few days ago and know how important this programme is to eligible families.

“Responding swiftly, we brought together different sections of the council, and have a plan, which we hope will ensure a range of activities at venues this summer.”

And Cllr Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children’s services, said: “We are already approaching providers and we are now extending that to registered activity providers, schools and community providers.

“We would like interested parties to read the FUEL community funding information pack and application form and respond by Friday, June 16.

“If we are successful with recruiting providers we hope to have a range of provision available for the summer. It may be different to previous years but we’re working hard and going out proactively and will keep everyone updated.”

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